Today you get a post expressing my absolute anger and frustration at AT&T Wireless.
It’s no secret I’m no fan of their service, considering I can’t use my phone in my house or really on my street. Suburban Cincinnati is obviously a No-Service-Area for them. But my upcoming trip to Alaska has me really frustrated. According to the coverage map, I’ll have no service in the cities we’ll be visiting, although my husband’s Sprint phone will be fine. (Verizon also covers our locations.)
I will be gone for two of the next 6 weeks in a place with no AT&T service. My contract ends in only 6 weeks. My early termination fee? $175. I’ll tell you what – it’s almost worth it.
But here’s the real kicker. I contracted with AT&T 4 years ago when I got my Blackberry. The service was Cingular and was excellent, actually. I never had a problem. When I got the Gen 1 iPhone in 2007, I stayed as Cingular morphed into AT&T. And my service degraded exponentially.
If I’d purchased a phone from AT&T last May, I would then be offered a pro-rated Early Termination Fee, which at this point would be around $20 or so. But since I’ve been a long-time customer, I’m punished. No pro-rating for me, which makes absolutely no sense in my head. According to the Customer Service rep, I didn’t ask for that contract. What? Can I have it now? No.
I’ve talked to 3 different Customer Service reps today, all of whom were very used to angry customers and none of whom really cared nor offered to try to change anything. Shouldn’t an angry customer be worth helping? Even if I’m considering leaving, don’t they want the good customer service karma from making things easy? If it was easy, I’d tell the world about the great service I received from AT&T and maybe come back earlier when I had iPhone envy. Instead, I’m telling the world how horrible they are.
Of course, I have always felt that providers should offer to pay at least half of the ETF when you’re switching. For instance, I really want to take a Palm Pre with me to Alaska, but I can’t afford all the new fees from Sprint, plus the phone, plus $175 to AT&T. Sprint should run a special that covers half of the ETF when you switch. That would actually help drive business, I would think, especially since Sprint needs the business. I’ve never understood why carriers don’t offer some sort of ETF package to encourage switching.
Of course, I don’t understand why AT&T is punishing me for being a long-time customer either. Any way you look at it, I end up a bit screwed.
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